What a talented author Dawn McMillan is. Her books for children range from the outrageously funny (such as [[book:I need a new bum|21356172]) and theWhat a talented author Dawn McMillan is. Her books for children range from the outrageously funny (such as [[book:I need a new bum|21356172]) and the just plain funny (Woolly wally), to very lovely (Colour the Stars. This latest one by her fits onto the very lovely end of the spectrum.
There have been some very nice children's books published over the last few years about wars that our country has been engaged in. Glyn Harper is an author that springs to mind, and there are more. They all treat the subject sensitively. This book only refers to the war covertly, but the grandchildren had no trouble telling me that Uncle Jack had died when he went away as a soldier. Despite that, this book is "Cool" - their first comment (for the purposes of this review).
Here is what else they said:
James (soon to be 9): It's cool - because of the music. It's said because Uncle Jack didn't come back from the war, but it's nice because Carlos is learning about him. Zenobia (turned 7 this month): It's cool - because you can see his Uncle Jack in his thoughts. Ivy (5 and 1/4): Uncle Jack disappeared.
I asked the children about the pictures, which I think are beautifully done. They're in muted colours, and many of the double spreads are done in different tones of the one colour, e.g. blue, or brown. They enhance the words perfectly - a fantastic choice of illustrator, and fine artwork.
The children said "We all like the pictures."
I spend quite a lot of our homeschooling budget on resources, and am continually telling myself that I don't need more books for "just because", but this one is one I think I'll have to buy. With the lovely art, the evocative text and the sensitive story, combined with the link to music .... well, it's worth adding to our shelves.
And I wonder how much a decent little harmonica would cost ..... ...more
I told the children - you need to choose one book each for the letter H (for schoolwork) and then any other book for yourself. One of them chose thisI told the children - you need to choose one book each for the letter H (for schoolwork) and then any other book for yourself. One of them chose this book. I've been hoping for books with titles that begin with the letter, but they're sorted by author and have a lovely orange letter on the spine, so we get authors most of the time. Never mind.
Now, this is a book that I wouldn't ordinarily borrow. It's one of these cutesy teach-the-children-about-good-behaviour books, and so many of them are so terribly nice about it that they turn me off completely. So I groaned inside when it came to reading their H choices. But, unlike other times when I flatly refuse to read a book that I don't like, I had to read it for school. Oh well - grin and bear it!
Surprise, surprise! We all enjoyed this little story. It's not preaching, Brandon takes an awful long time to learn what a pain he is, and the illustrations are great. I love the pugnacious face Brandon has. And when we turned to the back page the children saw covers of books starring Brandon's friends."Can we read those too?" So I've reserved them at the library.
Isn't it great when we get pleasantly surprised?!...more
It's interesting to read the two pages in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century that describe this book and how the writers believe it changedIt's interesting to read the two pages in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century that describe this book and how the writers believe it changed the century. Perhaps it did. I can see that it may have led to great moments of Christians actually asking themselves if they were living the life that Jesus modelled. And it could well have led to some amazing changes in many churches.
It's sad that these things don't last. It's rather like the momentary great outpourings we have of compassion (and aid) for the starving, for refugees, for those affected by catastrophes, for endangered animals, etc. etc., and the often calamitous effect well-meaning 'celebrities' can have (I've just been looking up Live Aid - some readers will remember that - and ...more
I'm trying to figure out quite why I find this book so delightful. It can't just be because I used to have a beloved black Labrador called Sally (wellI'm trying to figure out quite why I find this book so delightful. It can't just be because I used to have a beloved black Labrador called Sally (well, okay, yes she was a Labrador cross - the vet said she was quite possibly crossed with a Pug (there's no accounting for taste, is there?!) - and her hips were obviously not Lab). I loved my Sally. But that doesn't mean I have to love a book about another black Lab called Sally. It could have been one of those tedious books that the children borrow from the library and you feel obliged to read aloud to them even though the prose is boring, or worse (!) it's in rhymes and they plod. Or it could have been one of those so terribly badly written books that they manage to slip past me, but I refuse to read aloud because I just can't bring myself, even through clenched teeth.
Instead, this book is simple but honest. The illustrations are woodcut prints - plain colours, uncluttered shapes, and with lovely expressions on Sally's face. Completely dog, none of that anthropomorphism that is in so many children's books. The words are straightforward as well.
It's written with the intention of helping children to be okay about a pet having to go to the vet, and perhaps about themselves having to go to hospital or the doctor. But it's also perfectly satisfying to any reader....more